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Netflix CEO Hints at 4K Plans

Posted by: , 16:56 AEST, Sat September 21, 2013

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Netflix ready to take on 4K challenge, hinting at 15 Mbps minimum requirement for 4K streaming
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Netflix (visit site) CEO Reed Hastings has hinted at the streaming giant's upcoming 4K streaming plans, in a video interview with Claus Bülow Christensen, the producer of the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference.

Hastings confirmed that Netflix is already looking into the possibility of 4K streaming, and that the company has no concerns in regards to bandwidth issues.

4K video streams offer up to 4 times the resolution of current HD videos, and bandwidth problems, plus the high cost of 4K compatible equipment, has been raised as current concerns for Internet based 4K streaming. The introduction of new high efficiency video compression technologies such as HEVC could reduce the bandwidth concerns.

However, Hastings believes that despite having 4 times the resolution (and hence, data), the bandwidth requirements for 4K won't be 4 times of Netflix's current 1080p HD offerings. 

"It's around 15 megabits per second," Hastings said in reference to the expected bandwidth requirements each individual Netflix 4K stream. "It's not too bad. If you've got a 50-megabit connection you'll be fine."

Hastings also noted that, at least during the early stages, only a tiny minority of Netflix subscribers will be streaming 4K content, and so the bandwidth burden on ISPs should be minimal in the short term, allowing them to steadily upgrade their infrastructure to cope.

"... as an overall system load, it will grow quite slowly and steadily, giving people lots of time to build the infrastructure," Hastings added.

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